Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Escort by Laura Marie Altom

Title: The Escort
Author: Laura Marie Altom
My Rating: B-

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Shamed #3
Main Characters: Nathan and Carol
Release Date: August 2015
Publisher:  Loveswept
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
When the woman he loves marries billionaire Liam Stone, Nathan Black swears off dating, constantly being broke, and playing by the rules. His new gig’s not exactly legal, but the cash will help him build a solid future. Then there’s Carol Moore, Liam’s personal assistant. She and Nathan always seem to get paired up at Stone family functions—and always seem to fall into bed together afterward . . . or even during. She’s the perfect rebound. So why does Nathan want more?

After Carol’s dreamy boss gets hitched, crushing any chance of them getting back together, she finds herself hooking up with the bride’s best friend. Nathan is hot, adventurous, and makes her feel even better than chocolate does. But when one of their sexy games reveals the presence of a relentless stalker, Carol discovers that Nathan has a dangerous secret. And before long Carol is forced to choose between her safe old life and the bad boy who makes her feel like the woman she’s meant to be.

My Review:
This was a really tough book for me to rate. While I enjoyed reading it, I can't say that I ever really liked the hero or the heroine in it. They just never seemed like deep enough characters for me to love and I certainly never that much empathy for the mess they got themselves into. 

This is the third book in the series and obviously Carol and Nathan connect over what's happened in the two previous books (where the loves of their lives fell in love...with other people). I haven't read those books, but I didn't once feel like I was missing vital information. The author did a good job of little recaps so it was never confusing. And I love that that's the impetus to their original hook-up. Their loves are happy and getting married, so they have wild-monkey-sex at the wedding (obviously in a private place...not in the MIDDLE of the wedding.) And the sex is so hot that they both find themselves wanting more. I loved that part of the story line. I thought it worked really well. 

Neither Carol or Nathan had great beginnings in life. Although Carol is doing really, really well for herself now, Nathan hasn't pulled himself out of his humble beginnings yet. The fact that she's doing so much better than him bugs him. He's ashamed of the fact and is trying to pull himself out of being poor, so he makes a bad decision which is the basis for the whole story. For the most part, that worked for me, too. But there was so much emphasis on material "things" throughout the book, even when the characters protested it. All the ostentatiousness was still there in the background...everywhere...the private jets, lavish parties, having the restaurant to themselves. It was too much and so freaking shallow. It's like the hero and heroine didn't learn anything. And you know, they have rich and powerful advantages at their fingertips so it wasn't really necessary to learn anything. 

That's why this book gets a three star from me. There wasn't any true character growth that I could believe in, which meant I couldn't believe in their HEA. My prediction is that these two will be divorced in five years and fighting over who gets the Manhattan apartment. 

Overall the book provided an escape, but in the end it wasn't quite the satisfactory one I'd hoped for. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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